Can I Start a Business with a Similar Name to Another?

Trademark law can be confusing for consumers when similar products have similar names. This can lead to customers being unable to determine the origin of the product. If you choose a name that is too close to that of a competing company, they may accuse you of infringing their trademark rights. The most important factor in business name disputes that are examined in court cases is customer confusion.

This comes down to the geographical location and the sector. Geographic terms, such as the name of the city or state in which the company is headquartered, may also be appropriate. To do business under a certain name, you must complete and submit the appropriate forms and pay a filing fee. If two companies have the same name but different spellings, customers are likely to feel confused, especially if both are large national companies. The name of a legal business entity must also be distinguishable in the state government register.

If your business is online and the other business is online, you may have problems because your markets may overlap. Since the first person to use the company name gets the go-ahead, trademark registration would be a reliable database on who owns each brand. In such cases, where neither can prove their superiority, courts will ultimately adjust one of the brands to reduce the risk of confusion and allow both companies to continue operations with minimal interruption. This will enable tax and accounting professionals and companies of all sizes to boost productivity, face change and deliver better results. The best scenario for finding another company with the same name as yours is to have a trademark in your name. Another great way to protect your company name is to buy the domain name that would be associated with your company and reserve usernames on social networks.

Qualifiers are common words combined with your current company's name that could eliminate confusion. However, if the two companies operate in overlapping markets and have similar names, there are several factors that must be considered to determine who has priority. If, after analyzing these questions, you've determined that the other company shares your market, you'll need to determine who used the company's name first. To ensure that your customers don't confuse your company with another company with a similar name, choose a distinctive business name. So, if it's highly unlikely that the other company's customers will get confused because you have the same name, then there really isn't a trademark problem. If you submit an intention-to-use request and someone starts using the same or a similar business name before your release, your rights are protected.

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